Some people do better in pressured environments. The tougher the situation gets, the better they get. Yet, what about your business? Can you leverage your business to succeed in chaos? Some would say yes. Some would even encourage you to invite chaos through your doors.
In a Trend Hunter article, award-winning author and entrepreneur Ben Casnocha “identifies rebellion and optimism as the first two and most important principles of entrepreneurship,” adding, Not only are entrepreneurs fearless in trying to make the life they imagine for themselves, they are also willing to break tradition and conformity. His principles of entrepreneurship speech demonstrates how mistakes will be made, but it is an important part of the process.”
What about rebellious business leaders? Where do they stand? NBC News had a feature that probed at iconoclastic business figures, saying that their “brains are actually wired in a way that makes them more likely to take the road less traveled.” The post heavily references Gregory Berns, author of Iconoclasts and neuroscientist at Emory University. Berns notes that these kinds of minds function differently on three levels: (1) perception, (2) the fear response, and (3) social intelligence (necessary to convince and persuade others into your way of thinking.
To funnel this sort of thinking down to the rest of your corporate tribe, start by first creating a leadership position that allows and reward free thinkers and thought leaders. Then encourage the same climate among the troops. According to the NBC News piece, you’ll be rewarded for disrupting the system, noting that “biochemistry craves novelty. Just the anticipation of a novel event can set off the release of dopamine, the brain’s built-in motivational prod-and-reward system for learning. To break the cul-de-sac in perception, Berns suggests shaking up your routine, traveling or doing things you haven’t done before. Getting away from the ties and people that bind opens up possibilities that would go unimagined when you’re operating on autopilot.”
Writer Giles Hutchins feels disruption and chaos is the natural order of things (making it’s segue into business a logical one). Arguing for “Order Within Chaos” in an article by the same name, Hutchins feels that “paradoxically, inspiration for our pressing challenges is all around us in nature. Nature has been dealing with dynamic change for over 3.8 billion years; the more we explore nature’s ways the more we find inspiration for operating in a dynamically changing business environment.” He defines order within chaos has having several key characteristics, including: resilience, optimization, adaptation, and systems or values-based.
Damian Kay would agree. The entrepreneur shares this thoughts with ThinkBig, commenting that “for a business to ‘thrive’ in a constant flux of change, they must become obsessed with being responsive to customers and without fail, constantly innovate.” He offers several key starting points. In marketing, he recommends being disruptive and segmenting your market. In regards to sales and service, he recommends creating “an atmosphere of absolute obsession for customer service.” When it comes to innovation, he adds that the goal here is to focus on ‘value innovation’ rather than innovation for the sake of being different. In regards to people, he reminds leaders that they’re the backbone of success, and urges leaders to listen and take action. Here he also presses a flat structure (rather than a pyramid or a hierarchy) in order to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. He also advises leaders to set boundaries but then let their people loose to create, thrive, and innovate.
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